Networking

Victim uses remote access to catch laptop thief

A tech-savvy man from White Plains, NY used remote access to track and help police catch the thief who stole his laptop.

A tech-savvy man from White Plains, NY used remote access to track and help police catch the thief who stole his laptop.

According to an October 1st AP report on CBSNews.com, Jose Caceres' laptop was stolen when he left it on top of his car while carrying things into his home. For nearly a month, Caceres remotely accessed the laptop each day to watch his computer being used. Caceres' initial efforts where unsuccessful, but as the story describes, the thief eventually made a mistake:

When he first tried to figure out who had stolen his computer by logging on remotely, Caceres said he was stymied in his efforts. "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn," he said. "I couldn't get any information on him."

But then the suspect typed in a name and address to register on a Web site, he said. A few hours later, police caught the suspect.

IT pros can learn two lessons from Caceres' experiences. First, teach users not to leave their laptop unattended, even for short periods. And second, remote access tools can be used for more than just support.

Have you found a cool, secondary use for remote access tools?

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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